Let the Sunshine In
Mind games are a powerful weapon in the assault on your being. I knew of one woman who had suggested to her husband that they keep their backyard doors locked for security. The husband threw a fit and then two weeks later he started yelling at his wife. Telling her she had forgotten to lock the door. Some of these stories may seem absurd, why would a woman stay with these people? Understanding the power the abuser wields over a person is key to becoming more compassionate about why and how women stay in abusive situations.
Abusers will stop at nothing to gain and maintain control. Playing mind games is an easy tool for them to use. If you feel or have felt in a relationship that you might be going slightly crazy, that you over react too much or that the abuser must be right because he can be so kind after the abuse know that you are not alone. The journey to building back your self-esteem and beginning to stop the internal questioning of all your actions takes a long time but it is important to understand how the abuser works and how you can heal and avoid this kind of pain and these patterns.
When one woman asked her boyfriend if he was on drugs his reply was to question her if in fact she had gotten hooked on drugs. When that failed he suggested she was making it up to ruin him.
Having someone you trust play with your mind can be so confusing, never being sure if what you are feeling or thinking is right. Abusers depend on being able to convince the abused that in fact the abuser is right, always. By slowly and carefully lowering the way you value yourself and your opinions the abuser makes sure you will turn to them alone thereby gaining total control over you and your life. Part of this column's goal is to help both those that need assistance getting out of negative situations and to educate family members on what they are seeing. To recognize these patterns and help their loved ones.
Abusers thrive in silence and the unmentioned concerns. By reading firsthand accounts and by understanding the mind of a person who abuses we help protect ourselves and the women in our lives who we love.
1 in 3 women will be abused in some form in their lifetime. Emotional abuse can be one of the hardest to heal from because it leaves no outwardly showing battle scares. These articles address the healing process and the signs and systems abusers use to control the abused.